What a project is and what it entails
Most firms, organizations, and industries endorse projects which play a significant role in the company’s growth. Project management continuously develops as an activity of great importance and is given priority as it creates a competitive environment for the firm’s growth. More research on project management focuses on the five phases of the project management life cycle. Ancient writings within the niche seem to take project management as planning and executing discipline or a systems application analysis. This paper starts by giving the definition of a project, stating how project management has contributed to the success of various organizations, and stating as well as explaining the five stages of the project management life cycle.
A project is represented as a collection of activities that must be performed to achieve a specific end. The Project Management Institute defines a project as “any periodic undertaking having a specified chronology.” It can be dominated by a single individual or several people based on its intricacy. A project consists of various characteristics and among them are; It has a clear start and an end; a project is not a usual business, and it is all about coming up with ideas and creating something new; and lastly, it has restrictions (Kerzner, 2017). Project management entails five stages, namely Initiation, planning, monitoring, executing, and closing phases.
How project management can contribute to an organizations’ success
Amongst the most significant reasons for using project management is to ensure that projects are aligned with corporate strategy. As consultants monitor the preparation and implementation of a project, they help guarantee that the overarching goals of the program and its accompanying tasks and milestones are all in line with the firm’s strategic plans. Project management is important to an organization because it helps leaders focus on the project by providing them with vision and motivation. Project management also helps in strategic alignment and ensures that whatever is given out is of great value against the business opportunity (Kerzner, 2017). Lastly, project management has a clear focus, precise objectives, realistic project planning, and consistency.
Five process groups in the project management life cycle
The project process is split into five stages: instigating, planning, completing, monitoring, and closing. Every one of those project stages reflects a collection of interconnected processes that must occur. The project initiation stage deals with project definition; at this phase, the sponsors fully authorize the project, the scope is defined, and all related parties such as the management and the stakeholders are identified. The next stage is the planning phase helps in scope establishment; the project manager uses a straightforward technique referred to as progressive elaboration to plan the project (Llorens et al., 2021). The executing process involves completing the project, and the plan helps in keeping people on track. Monitoring and controlling involve assessing the project in terms of general performance by reviewing and regulating the progress and projects performance.
The pre-planning stage of the project management lifecycle
Among the most critical aspects of a project take place prior to the planning phase. If a task is expected to begin soon, much research is still to be completed in this pre-planning stage. The pre-planning step aids in assembling the appropriate people to discuss the initiative well and establish a plan of action. Stakeholders who comprehend the project’s principal goal are top persons who participate in this stage and aid in making decisions. The important individuals then evaluate the impending work and make judgments, such as partnering with the finest firms to get the necessary resource requirements (Llorens et al., 2021).
Tools and Techniques used in project selection
Project selection techniques are important for team managers in preparing for the upcoming initiative. Project selection techniques fall under the project selection method, which entails various techniques such as the economic model, payback period, discounted flow of cash, and cost opportunity, all of which fall under the benefit methods of measurement. The economic model helps in calculating net profit after taxes have been deduced and expenditure of capital (Kerzner, 2017). The constraint optimization method entails linear and non-linear programming, integer programming, and, lastly, dynamic and multiple programming.
Elements of the project selection form
A project selection form is a form that entails the key details of what the project is going to talk about, and it is usually prepared after the project has been selected. It is critical to realize that project selection may be regarded as a technique of analyzing specific projects or plan concepts and selecting the best project for execution based on a set of standards. Some of the most important aspects of project choice may entail the following; the name of the project, name of the person partaking in the project or the project manager, area of specialization, problem statement, statement charter, and email address (Kerzner, 2017). Other details are the qualifications and the project procedure followed by the title and references if any.
The preceding are some of the primary reasons why a project appraisal form may be well deemed important;
- It enables the documenting of the specific reasons as to why the project was chosen
- It provides the project to be given prioritization which indicates that urgent initiatives are accorded higher priority.
The planning process of the project management lifecycle together with terms and tools used in the planning stage
The planning phase begins once the project is accepted, depending on the business proposition, description of the purpose, or project commencement document. During this stage, bigger projects are broken down into smaller tasks, team formation occurs, and the assignment completion timetable is planned. Creation of smaller targets inside the overall project and ensuring that each is attainable within the time given. Short-term goals ought to have a higher chance of success (Manole, A. L., & Grabara 2016). Steps involved in the planning process are creating a project plan which will entail all stages of the project and tasks that will be performed. Workflow structures are also created in the planning phase; they help visualize processes involved in the project. Estimation of the budget; helps create financial aid, which helps estimate and determine the cost of the project.
Other crucial elements involved in the planning stage are; gathering resources and ensuring the team is functional by ensuring that every team member has the necessary tools required for task completion. Risk anticipation; involves identifying issues that may come up and cause project stalling while at the same mitigation of risks also takes place at this stage to meet the timeline and deliver a quality project. Bringing team members on board is also part of the planning stage as it helps outline the project to get the work done quickly (Llorens et al., 2021).
Purpose of the project scope template and the terms used
The project’s scope is paperwork that describes detailed goals, aims, features, and expenses as part of the development’s strategic preparation. The statement comprises actions that must be accomplished to complete the project effectively. Knowing the plan needs and thus the client’s desires help determine the documentation process (Kerner, 2017). Project basics include determining and monitoring the lifetime to be utilized, applying it to the user-centered creative process, forming the team members, and effectively managing the team through all milestones until the work is completed. Below is a project scope sample;
The project name entails the projects’ title. The project sponsor is the stakeholder in charge of the project. The project scope statement provides a vivid description of the work to be done to deliver the project within the given timeframe and stick within the given timeframe budget.
A project assumption refers to a real or true factor without solid proof and mostly appears during project planning. A milestone in project management is a tool whose use is to delineate a key point in scheduling a project; these key points can identify the start and the end of a project (Lock, 2017). Out of scope refers to anything exterior to the restrictions of an initiative; it clarifies the deliverables of the project and sets out both party’s expectations. On the other hand, project execution refers to the phase where every plan is put into action through team meetings to get all of the major players to put everything into action.
Stakeholders refer to all the members involved in the project, particularly with interest in the outcome; typically, they can be referred to as project team members. The time estimate is the guess that involves how long the project will take. It is usually a guess that involves estimation techniques and gives individuals more confidence in managing their time throughout the project (Llorens et al., 2021). On the other hand, cost estimate refers to the procedure of weighing all the money factors associated with completing the project within the given scope. Finally, project acceptance criteria entail the mandatory conditions that must be met before the task deliverables are accepted. The criteria set out the standards required for the user to accept the outcome of the project.
Work breakdown structure, project milestone, and critical path and how they affect the entire project
A work breakdown structure, also known as WBS, is a deliverable, visual, and hierarchical-oriented project deconstruction. It is important to allow managers of various projects to work backward. It has three levels; the top level has the project title, the main phases of the project, work packages, and lastly, activities that should be completed. WBS is divided into verb-oriented, noun-oriented, and lastly, time phase-oriented. Project milestone refers to a point in the life cycle of a project whereby progress is measured to achieve the ultimate goals (Kerner, 2017). A critical path is the time frame from when the project starts until when it is finished, it shows the shortest time necessitated for completion of the entire project. Below is a sample of a work breakdown structure;
Executing process in the project management lifecycle
The process group comprises the ideas that take place in order to finish the work started in the planning phase to meet the project objectives. Because the Implementing process group consumes the greatest project resources and time, expenses are often highest during the executing process. The Executing Process Group’s overall purpose is to put teams to get all the work performed successfully to progress on track in terms of the scope and originally agreed-upon goals. Teams are formed to accomplish tasks following customer specifications (Lock, 2017). Potential sources of danger or worry are eliminated in the production process, and proposed changes are resolved.
The executing process group consists of the following tasks in the project management life cycle.
Give directions and manage the execution of the project
Since most of a project’s capital is expended on the intricacies of the execution processes, project leaders must have a defined specific goal and a reasonable timeframe from the start. Before the project begins, it is critical to double-check the timing and scheduling details to ensure that relevant tasks, such as setting permissions, can be completed on time (Manole, A. L., & Grabara 2016). Successful project execution is achieved by assigning open responsibilities to the team members and explaining to them the rationale and the morale behind the decisions a team leader makes.
Perform quality assurance and acquire a team
Routine quality assurance inspections enable a project leader to make appropriate adjustments when they arise. Furthermore, the quality assurance process produces data shared with partners to guarantee that the initiative is on schedule and within budget. Putting together the strongest teams available and making an effort to effectively explain objectives and schedules are critical components of the project’s success (Lock, 2017). Group leaders need to understand how the team’s contribution to the project fits the benchmark targets.
Develop and manage project team
Providing teams with the skills and information they need to complete their jobs efficiently will help to improve performance. Increasing team chemistry and offering extra training as needed can also boost project performance (Llorens et al., 2021). Being in sync with groups as they execute their tasks fosters unique skills between task divisions. Project managers who attend to employee grievances and appropriately respond can significantly affect the achievement of the objective. Implementing mid-course alterations as needed and overcoming obstacles along the road can result in a powerful end product.
Share information and manage the expectations of stakeholders
Routine interaction is a detail that many inexperienced managers neglect. Understanding when and how to make a phone call in person to address a timeline snag or relay an imminent change of plans by message to the next team leader is part of the management etiquette that develops through time (Kerzner, 2017). It is critical to have an efficient communication flow through a routine to warning signs to create a positive operational experience for all stakeholders. Project managers with experience recognize that managing communication between stakeholders is equally as critical as interacting with teams. Communicating effectively, outlining benchmark targets, and immediately addressing any emerging stakeholder concern takes a long way in enhancing workflow.
More or less, every project requires risk-based decisions and redistribution anywhere along the way. Generating the records and paperwork required to react to purchasing processes aids in ensuring the best budgeting decisions are made across the project duration. Whereas many experts new to broader and more complicated projects may feel burdened by the many clashing details and repeated procedures, once a complete understanding of the subsequent fundamental attempts is acquired, a rhythm arises over time (Manole, A. L., & Grabara 2016). Project managers who want to taste the excitement of overseeing larger projects can evolve into such responsibilities through expert mentorship and career advancement in leading practice project management techniques. As one’s knowledge and abilities grow, so do one’s career prospects.
Tools and techniques applicable in the executing process
Project administration is a tough undertaking with plentiful obligations, and luckily, there are several skills available to help in finishing tasks besides carrying out responsibilities. Some need the use of IT skills and related software, while some may run manually. Project administrators should select the project management solution that is most well-matched to their supervision style (Llorens et al., 2021). No tool can meet all venture delivery necessities; the most often used project management tools are the Gantt charts and the Program Evaluation Review Technique. Each of the mentioned tools may be formed manually or software that is readily accessible.
Techniques used in the execution phase include tapping the basic project plot into an act. The role of the task manager is to commence project processes, acquire and allot resources, instruct new team associates, keep the work on a track, and guarantee the value of the entire project (Kerzner, 2017). Assessment of the progress concerning the project plan’s foundation involves using PERT and Gantt charts, which help the project leader monitor the project’s progress. Managing modifications to the project’s baseline plan and keeping track of the project workbook helps to record all occurrences during the entire session.
Change control process
It is a method whereby all requests to alter the authorized baseline of the project or spectrum are collected, assessed, and then accepted, denied, or delayed. This approach ensures that an individual does not alter anything in the program that should not be updated. The last thing that should be done is cause a disruption to the project for little or no cause, squandering important time and money. Any authorized changes are then recorded. The methodology is a component of the overall change management strategy (Lock, 2017). Effective change management brings the project within the budget and the given time frame and enhances teamwork. A poorly executed change control might lead to the downfall of a project and not reaching the project goals.
Monitoring and controlling process
Monitoring and control processes track, assess, adapt, and comment on the project’s progress continuously. It is critical to determine the progress of the work and whether it is on time and execute agreed revisions. Monitoring and control keep the tasks on schedule, on budget, and on time. Project control is a role that entails contrasting overall performance to expected performance and taking necessary remedial action, which will provide the preferred outcome in the initiative when substantial variances occur (Manole, A. L., & Grabara 2016). Control process primarily focuses on;
- Measurement of planned performances and actual performance.
- Assessing performance of projects that are going on for correction identification.
- Keeping timely and accurate information based on the project’s output and any documentation associated with the project.
- Provision of information which supports updates such as status, measuring process, and forecasting.
- Delivering forecasts that give updates on costs and project schedules.
- Monitoring and implementing any changes approved as well as schedule amendment.
Monitoring and Control techniques
Monitoring and control bring out different techniques that project managers can use: the Requirement Traceability Matrix, Review and status meetings, and the control chart. A Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) links the initiative’s need to outputs and creates a connection for the two standard papers. Therefore, it upsurges the perceptibility of the tasks and precludes new events or demands to the enterprise without previous approval (Lock, 2017). A regulator chart retains track of the scheme’s effectiveness; the two examples of control charts are univariate and multivariate charts; a multivariate chart contains multiple features, while a univariate management chart exhibits one project feature.
The final and last phase of the project life span is the Project Closure Phase. It entails handing over all the results to the client, giving out the documents to the corporate, canceling contractual agreements, liberating workers, assets, and informing shareholders of the venture’s supposition are part of project finishing (Kerzner, 2017). During the closing phase, reviewing the project’s scope statement takes place, documentation takes place, cost, and schedule together with any other information relevant to the management is released. Techniques involved in closing a project are as follows; deliverables are transferred to the client; the stakeholders confirm project completion. All contracts and documentation go through the reviewing process, resources are released, a post-mortem is conducted, and all documentation is archived.
Closing the project helps avoid making the same blunder on subsequent projects and goals, having finished products and outputs in the absence of dedicated and supportive. Failure to recognize individuals who may own and manage the solution after its completion is also part of what project closure helps to avoid. Due to delayed payments, agreements, and deliveries (Llorens et al., 2021). By formally completing a project, a person reduces risks, boosts customer satisfaction, and guarantees that all stakeholders are on the same page; in other words, completion is a process that cannot be avoided.
Lesson learned report and its importance
The information obtained through carrying out a project is referred to as lessons learned; it includes both the advantages and disadvantages. The goal is to duplicate the positive features while avoiding the faults. Lesson learned has the following significance; identification of remarks and suggestions from which one can learn; these might be a great source of information for upcoming projects (Lock, 2017). Record the specific lessons learned during conversations in a report to which all parties can respond, share this analysis with the whole project group and keep a copy for records. Lesson learned also arranges and evaluates the lessons learned to be used and distributed among other groups, stores and retrieves reports to be used in future or upcoming projects.
In conclusion, project management techniques keep the project director on track to monitor and oversee project performance from the beginning to the end of any project. Finally, the routines and management system enable one to utilize the skills, knowledge, equipment, and resources required for project accomplishment. Professional project managers must be conversant with the practice and delivery of five main process groups. The main way to prove one is worth or value to a firm is to demonstrate that anyone can successfully initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and close a project. As the project leader takes on and leads numerous projects, they obtain the ability to comprehend what suits the firm’s expansion and development.
Kerzner, H. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Llorens, B., & Viñoles-Cebolla, R. (2021). The influence of the use of project management tools and techniques on the achieved success. In Project Management and Engineering Research (pp. 159-171). Springer, Cham.
Lock, D. (2017). The essentials of project management. Routledge.
Manole, A. L., & Grabara, I. (2016). Methodologies and visualization tools of effective project management. Polish Journal of Management Studies, 14.